Thursday, 9 May 2013

Writing workshops are fun!!!

Hello again!
As I have mentioned before, I have a “passion” for the English language. I think it is essential to learn English, mainly because it is the most widely used language. It is of utmost importance to develop the children's language skills. Starting with primary school, the teachers should focus (among other things, of course) on this aspect, in order to have the necessary writing and communication skills.

What is a writing workshop? 

In my opinion one of the most effective language teaching methods is the writing workshop. This method focuses on the development of writing and composition skills and on creativity as well. During the school day, there is a specific time reserved for this activity. A writing workshop usually has three parts: an introductory part, when the teacher talks about a particular ability, a concept or a strategy. After this comes the exercising part, when the students can put the theory in practice and write something. The last part consists of discussions, when the students share what they have written with the rest of the class and they can talk it over. However, the school days are not the only times when a writing workshop can take place. There are various types of this activity such as summer writing shops, writing shops for adults, or online writing shops.


Image taken from The Word Cellar

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I can assure you, that activities like this workshop can have a positive impact on the children, especially on the ones who are interested in writing rather than in Maths for instance. I forgot to mention that it would be advisable to create this workshop as an optional subject. This way only those will attend, who want to improve their composition skills, or like to write. I remember back in the days, when I was in school and I was obligated to go to the Physics competition. I hated it, but I still had to go. Therefore I think that children should have the opportunity (when they are big enough) to choose the optional courses they want to take part in. If they don't want to do something but they are forced to, they surely will not like it. In order to raise their interest, teachers need to take it step by step.

Multiple Endings

The writing workshop can also be about creative writing, where the members of the class could team up. There are many different approaches to these kind of activities. I will only mention one, the technique of multiple endings. The teacher starts writing down the beginning of a basic story. After that, three students will continue the story separately and each of them will end their part, once they have reached a point where the main protagonist has to make a choice. Then, each line of the story will be continued by a student, in our case a total number of 6 students. Each of them will choose one of the possible options and continue the stories until they also reach a point where others can join in. This can continue up to 24 students, or even more if there are more students (48). At the next workshop, the different versions and endings of the story can be compared, and the group could choose the one they like the most.
Image taken from PRLOG

Improve your skills and have fun

This is only one of the many creative writing strategies, which are in my opinion very interesting and useful. The main purpose of the writing workshops is to learn various methods of writing, and the teachers can also offer the possibility of publishing the best pieces, in the school's newspaper for example. I am sure that if they are done in the right way, writing workshops can offer students the possibility to learn, improve their skills and have fun at the same time. Writing and reading workshops were my favourites and this is why I have decided to write about them. I hope you liked it, and if you were undecided on whether to join a writing workshop or not, here's my advice: Do it, nothing bad can come out of it! If you don't like it you won't go next time but you know the old saying: Better to regret something that you've done, than something that you haven't! Till next time!:)

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